Shop Here if You’re Buying Local for the Holidays


Christmas  is gift-giving time. Or, for the pragmatic grinches, it’s culturally-mandated-consumerism time, and stimulate-the-economy time. And since you’ll be spending money anyway, if only to maintain the veil of generosity that masks your generally bitter disposition towards the world throughout the other months of the year, you might as well invest in local businesses and social enterprises, so you can at least do something of value to the world for a change. This way, all the cash that you wouldn’t really dish out on a normal day will go to worthy causes and sustainable initiatives, and it won’t matter as much that your casual acquaintances don’t really use the mugs you gave out last year.

If you’re decided on buying local, the BPI Sinag ng Pasko Christmas Bazaar is the place to do it. There are at least 29 vendors—all are Filipino social enterprises that give back to marginalized communities. Some of these brands are benefactors of the BPI Sinag Accelerate program, a business accelerator of the BPI Foundation. The bazaar will be held at the Palm Drive Activity Center at Glorietta 2 on Wednesday, December 13, and is really the ideal time to plow through your Christmas shopping list while effectively helping people in need.

Here are just a few of the vendors you can expect at Sinag ng Pasko:

Balangay’s Best
Which sells: Dried seafood products
And benefits: Filipino fisherfolk communities, including ones who were adversely affected by Typhoon Yolanda.


Bayani Brew
Which sells: Natural iced tea in flavors like lemongrass, dalandan, and sweet potato leaf.
And benefits: Local organic farming communities and farmland development, inclduing the GK Enchanted Farm and the Samahang Agraryong Magsasaka ng Barangay Camachile.


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Which sells: Chocolate bars made from beans sourced from Davao, including interesting flavors like quezo de bola
And benefits: Farming communities in Malabog, Paquibato District.


La Miel Filipina
Which sells: Raw, organic honey
And benefits: Filipino bee hunters, promoting sustainable resource hunting in the forests and mangroves.


Make Peace Bakery
Which sells: Bread and pastries
And benefits: Orphans and out-of-school youths who are taught to bake.


Tsaa Laaya
Which sells: Premium Filipino herbal teas
And benefits: An urban poor community that was relocated to Calauan, Laguna, where they now have a sustainable livelihood.

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Which sells: Different kinds of canvas bags with ethnic weave patterns
And benefits: Weaving communities in Ilocos Norte, Isabela Province, Oriental Mindoro, Zamboanga, Basilan, and Sulu; and the preservation of their weaving techniques.


Habi Footwear
Which sells: Eco-friendly espadrilles.
And benefits: Urban weaving communities in Quezon City.

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Jacinto and Lirio
Which sells: Eco-friendly leather goods made from water hyacinth.
And benefits: Communities affected by water hyacinth infestation.


Obrano Heritage Goods
Which sells: Genuine leather goods with Filipino weave pattern lining.
And benefits: Local craftsmen and weavers.

The BPI Sinag ng Pasko Christmas Bazaar runs on Wednesday December 13, at the Palm Drive Activity Center, Glorietta 2.

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Miguel Escobar
Assistant Features Editor for Esquire Philippines
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